Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Tantrums and Tiaras: Crystals and Pearls for the Beautiful Girls

It's Tiara Tuesday!

A BIG SPARKLY welcome to Kelly Scully of Tantrums and Tiaras, tonight's Industry Expert!

Kelly began making jewellery aged just 12 years old, selling ‘the odd piece here and there’ to friends and family. As life commitments took priority, Kelly’s jewellery making stopped and it wasn’t until after falling ill in 2005 that Kelly found her passion in jewellery making again. In April 2007, as demand grew and ideas developed, Kelly resumed making and selling bespoke tiaras at her home studio in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Led by her strong passion and talent, the love affair with Tantrums and Tiaras began….

Kelly very kindly took time out from her Aladdin's Cave of Swarovski crystals, pearls, and freshwater pearls to chat to Bespoken Dreams:

“I find my design style doesn’t fit into one neat box. I love little pretty tiaras, but equally really enjoy making larger statement pieces. I particularly like converting vintage jewellery into tiaras or creating my own take on vintage themes. Oh and yes, of course I made my own tiara!”

What inspires or influences your designs?
Whilst I will look at what is happening in the bridal and fashion industries for current trends, I am totally against any form of copying. I have had the odd bride who will show me a picture of a tiara and ask me to copy it but this is something I refuse to do. I get my inspiration from everywhere. I have been stood on the underground before and something just came to me, and once driving through France I saw some lamp posts which gave me inspiration to incorporate into a design.
What is your most popular product?
There are two which have been our bestselling at the last two National Wedding Shows; Phoebe and Anne as the traditional type of tiaras, but the vintage inspired Victoria was the runway favourite.

What are the current trends for 2010?
There has been less call this year for the more traditional peak tiara and a huge swing towards side tiaras, particularly those which are either vintage or vintage inspired. I predict that this will continue into 2011 with the main focus on 1920-1940’s trend and style having a real influence. I think we’ll also see some creative use of feathers and birdcage veils to give a softer girly look.

What factors influence a bride’s decision in choosing her accessories?
There are many things which would influence the decision on accessories. Obviously, the dress is the biggest, but then the theme of the day, other heirloom pieces of jewellery being worn, matching with the rest of the bridal party, the hair, the shoes and what the bride’s mother and bridesmaids want all come into it. You also get the brides who are adamant when they come to see me that they don’t want a certain style of tiara, but then walk away with that style having tried it on. I had one bride recently who just couldn’t decide what between two of them and as such bought both, one for the ceremony and one for the evening.
At what stage in the planning do brides visit you?
Brides visit at all different times during the planning from 18 months to two years in advance, all the way down to the week before. This year though I seem to have been dealing with a lot more last minute brides, with about a month or two to go before the big day. I have seen brides at wedding shows who’ve just been ‘looking’ and then heard from them about a year later, when it is closer to the day.

What advice do you give your brides upon consultation?
The two main questions I ask are ‘have you got the dress yet?’ and ‘how are you wearing your hair?’ as both factors usually dictate what type of hair accesory the bride will wear. The main piece of advice I would give to start with is to suggest that a bride does not rule something out or in without trying it first. It’s amazing how many brides will be adamant they do not want a certain type of tiara but when they put try it is the one for them. When I’ve got an idea of style I can then pitch in with different advice on the type of band, how it will sit in the hair, how hairdressers can clip it in, height and other areas. The main thing is that the bride should be happy with the product she buys.
What’s the most extravagant order or request you’ve received?
Last Christmas I did a wedding for a bride who had 10 bridesmaids and 10 ushers and wanted cufflinks, headpieces and jewellery for all of them! December is usually a quiet month with brides winding down focusing on preparing for Christmas and come January 2nd it’s mad busy again. For this reason, December is certainly a good month to get a bespoke tiara made.
Have you ever experienced any in-store tantrums?!
I wouldn’t say that there are any in store tantrums to report on. The name ‘Tantrums and Tiaras’ was my husband’s idea and he will probably tell you that the tantrums are mine, although he has his own when the occasional bead ends up on the floor and he treads on them in bare feet! I’ve heard of “Bridezillas” but we’ve not had one at T&T. It may be our strong focus on delivering what the bride needs and wants that means there’s never any real need to have one. The ‘mother-in-law-to-be’ can sometimes cause more problems than they solve but I have yet to see an out and out tantrum…

Any 'exclusives' to share with Bespoken Dreams?
I am currently putting together next year’s collection and getting it all ready for my first proper photo shoot in October! I am really excited about both the shoot and the new collection. A lot of brides who have come for an appointment have zeroed straight in on the new collection (see picture above).
Do you have any top tips or words of wisdom for our B2B’s?
Sort your dress first and then come and see me. I have had a bride come and get a second tiara after she found the first didn’t go with the dress she had then bought.
We also advise brides to make sure they buy cuff links for the boys, it will stop the best man buying the novelty ‘don’t do it’ ones and you can also guarantee that one, if not all of the ushers and even the groom will turn up without a pair on the day.

What do you love about your job?
I love creating new pieces and being able to make something that will be in the wedding photo for years to come.
One of the worst things (of the job) is that some of the designs leave my fingers quite sore due to the wire that I have to use!
The wedding industry is a really nice industry to be a part of as everything about it ‘should’ be happy and exciting, but occasionally you do come across the rare supplier who can be a bit difficult. Fortunately, I get on with the majority of people in the industry including most of my ‘competitors’ and even recommend them if there is something I cannot do which I know they can.
And finally, who would be your dream top table wedding guests?
‘HOLLY WILLOUGHBY’ is who my husband has shouted to me in answer to this question, but tells me if she can come then I could have Tom Varndell present!
I would love to have Audrey Hepburn sat on a top table, but only to wear one of my Tiaras. I would have loved to have been able to have my grandparents with us on our top table too.
For more information please visit

Monday, 30 August 2010

Brides at Work - Friday 17th September 2010

The National Wedding Show is calling on all Brides to wear their wedding dress to work to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
It doesn’t matter if you were married in 2010, 1910 or even if it’s still a work in progress... if you can find a dress (and fit into it!) we need you to get sponsored to wear it to work on Friday 17th September 2010.

The whole of the wedding party can get involved too. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to take part. Whether they are the bride, groom, bridesmaid, bestman, mother of the bride or usher they can wear their outfits to work too.

To get involved simply register now by clicking on the link below to receive your fantastic fundraising pack.

The National Wedding Show is delighted to be holding an exclusive auction of hand-picked bespoke and limited edition products for your wedding day to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

This amazing auction gives you the chance to get your hands on some of the most individual and beautiful products in the bridal industry.

To view and place bids for auction items please visit www.nwsauction.co.uk

*Terms and conditions apply to this auction as displayed on the website above.

Events Team
020 7025 2426


Thursday, 19 August 2010

For Better or Verse - Bespoke Special Occasion Poetry

“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.”
Mae West – American actress.

The best advice I was given last year when planning our wedding was to really apply our own personalities to each aspect of the day. But before you start to panic this means the groom is going to hotfoot it down the aisle head-to-toe in the latest away kit, whipping the congregation into a mexican wave, chill! Stamping your personality onto your occasion can be subtle, delicate…..or even full blown out there! The idea is; it’s your day, and your choice. Weddings have really evolved over the last decade, and there are so many ideas and options (regardless of budget) to ensure you create the most perfect, personal day.

A unique way to truly personalise your day, give your guests an insight into your romance, and set your wedding day aside from any other, is with a bespoke, personal poem. I wanted our day to be a fantastic celebration, with each and every guest being involved. So a poem about our relationship gave Great Auntie Maud who’d I’d met five minutes earlier an insight into us, our day, our celebration. My poem to th hubby was entitled ‘The Proposal.' It was given to each guest as a place setting; a unique keepsake to treasure forever!

A special, bespoke poem about your own love story, from first date to proposal, could be recited in a speech, given as a wedding party gift, place setting or favour. They are perfect ice-breakers guaranteed to make your guest laugh AND cry! Ideal for any Best Men/Father of the Bride’s nervous of public speaking, wanting to deliver an eloquent, heartfelt, sincere speech with a double dose of humour!

So why not let For Better or Verse add a touch of magic to your special occasion and tell your beautiful story in rhyme?

SAMPLE: Italian Wedding - July 2010

Monday, 16 August 2010

EXCLUSIVE Interview with TV Presenter George Watts - The UK's Official Wedding Fairy!

I'm highly delighted and super excited to interview industry expert George Watts, the UK's Offical Wedding Fairy!

'Sprinkling a little love across the Nation', George is Journalist, TV Presenter, and Wedding Guru rolled into one. George first launched his TV career on screen as the Wedding Planner for BBC2's The Good, Bad and the Ugly, and has since reported exclusively for GMTV and The Wright Stuff.
Over the past few years, George has been anchoring and reporting for the Saturday morning show 'Wedding Breakfast' for Sky's WEDDING TV.
George is also a regular expert contributor to a range of National magazines including 'Perfect Weddings'.
Renowned for his charisma and charm, George has proved a big hit on the red carpet interviewing Hollywood A-listers such as Uma Thurman and Colin Firth.
Now his turn for the hotseat, George shares his wit and wisdom in a super-sparkly-inspiring interview!

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be upstanding for your very own Wedding Fairy....

Coco Chanel once said “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”
What advice can you give our brides to ensure they’re both ‘classy and fabulous’ on their special day?
Fabulous question! One can never go wrong with a splash of Lady Coco! Well, I always say to my girls just let the love shine from the inside out and the rest of the day will take care of itself. Every bride looks stunning on their wedding day simply because in the words of that famous cliche, 'it is the happiest day of your life'. Soak it up ladies.

Do you have a favourite theme?
I actually love a bit of goth - lots of sultry black and sassy silver colourways with bags of candles chucked in. Super romantic especially in a cozy winter setting. I am the new Marilyn Manson of the wedding World.

And any themes you think have had their ‘big’ day?
Pink. Especially 50's bubble gum stylee. I am just so bored of it however, this may be likely to change in the space of 24hours - tomorrow I'll probably be saying it's timeless!!

Describe the best wedding you’ve ever been to.
Actually it was in the back garden of someones house?! It was just so stunningly perfect in terms of setting and classic elegance. The bride was Japanese so tons of oriental influences were pulled in across the whole day including a rather mean session of karoke. It was wicked fun and I got very drunk, what more could you ask for from a wedding!

What's hot and what's not at weddings?
For me anything goes it just depends on what the couple are about in terms of taste and personality. Some people can have pretty shocking ideas but hey, who am I to judge, we just need to take their initial vision and twist it into something spectacular. Easy!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Always the couples themselves. I love a good sniff around someones home to get a real feel for their individual style and if they don't live together pre-wedding then I get to do it twice!

How did you start wedding planning?
I entered the World of Wedding's when I appeared on a BBC2 programme back in 2003 and became a fake wedding planner on the TV show, 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." I organised a £16,000 wedding in four weeks. It was extroardinary.

What’s the best bit of your job?
Entering someone's World and watching that journey to the aisle unfold.

And the worst?

What inspired National Wedding Day?
Well, I wanted to create a day where couples could celebrate their nuptuals whilst also raising money for the incredible work undertaken by the nspcc. It's a great opportunity to throw a party, get drunk and do your first dance all over again!

Can you share any wedding day wisdom ?
One of my favourate moments was a wedding in the West Country. The couple had such a tiny, tiny budget and held their reception in a barn in the middle of nowhere! It made me realise that actually it is the people and the way in which you bring them together that really creates the magic not the budget.

And finally, who would be your dream top table wedding guests?!
Madonna and Lady Gaga as bridesmaids would be pretty incredible. Simon Cowell would make a wonderful best man with Cheryl as a flowergirl and Louis Walsh as father of the bride! I would love to work with Cheryl on her next big day. Actually Wills and Kate will be a pretty exciting affair. Imagine the Queen as your Mother in law?!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Fashionistas in a Candy Store!

Last night, I was one of the select Grazia readers lucky enough to nab a golden (or should that be camel?) ticket to the www.my-wardrobe.com and Grazia 'Great Fashion Road Show.' And where better to host it than Liverpool's Über trendy Malmasion hotel!

Fash-tastic my.wardrobe.com took to the road to give loyal Grazia readers an exclusive sneak preview into some of their hottest trends for autumn/winter 2010, and to also showcase the brilliant Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook.

What we drank: Champagne and Cosmos
What we ate: mini burgers, finger fish and chips, goats cheese and red onion marmalade tarts
Goody bag: £50 MW gift card, 'Artisan du Chocolat' Mole Chili Dark Chocolat bar, O.P.I 'Off With Her Red' nail lacquer, Lena White £5 off 'spa at home' voucher (HOW spoilt)!

'Trilby's off' to the hostesses with the mostess, Grazia's expert fashion team and my-wardrobe.com stylists, as ladies, my-favourite e-tailer certainly did not disappoint! Initially in awe, (like Fashionistas in a candy store), we quickly warmed up as the MW pieces came to life. A nod to all the hottest trends courtesy of the exquisite models certainly had us wishing the summer season away; Leopard Luxe, Granny Chic, Art Deco, 50's Glamour, 60's Left Bank, Rock Chick and Biker Chic. It was amazing to touch, (Mille Rostock's grey mongolian sheepskin gilet, grrrr), and smell (Mulberry's Oak Alexa small shoulder clutch, mmm) their amazing pieces, as opposed to the usual (daily) visual surfing.

A favourite look of mine was the Studio 54; a Tie Waist Full Length Halter Dress by Halston Heritage teamed with Katia Lombardo Gold Studded Heel Peeptoe Platforms, Kenneth Jay Lane art deco crystal earrings and a Lulu Guiness clutch. Timeless glamour with a sprinke of drama; perfect for any A/W wedding (just don't upstage the bride)!

Thanks to the diffusion lines of Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, Alice by Temperley and Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, the A/W10 trends are accessible, avant garde and fun. Make a statement with pieces such as a Merle O'Grady stunningly perspex necklace, DVF luxe soft tote or a DVF soft cashere scarf in a subtle animal print. Striped tees, trilby hats and leopard fur rocked the Left-Bank look, while Kurt Geiger's 'exclusive' leopard peeptoe clog will have you embracing your inner feline before you can say 'Kate Moss hearts leopard.' Red, camel and different levels of black are the colours du jour, so it seems!

The best accessory of the evening though, had to be my-plus one, my-hubby; 'the only guy in the Mal'. With a crash course in Katia and a heads-up in Halston, I'm r-e-a-l-l-y looking forward to my-christmas stocking this year! Mini market boots and Alexa's baby sister, Here. I. Come.

So thank you Grazia, thank you my-wardrobe, I owe you one! x

Monday, 9 August 2010

Get Creative!

Last year, one of my most prized purchases for the wedding had to be my Scalloped Heart Punch from Cox and Cox www.coxandcox.co.uk

It did everything; decorated the tables at my hen-do, adorned the table plan and reception post box, decorated the Orders of Service, personalised wedding party gifts and even stepped in on the penultimate night to make confetti when we ran out of freeze dried petals for the cones! It was, and still is, my one pull-out-the-bag-trick-up-my-sleeve-turn-it's-hand-(or heart)-to-anything-card.

When the postman dutifully delivers each new season Cox and Cox catalogue, I embrace each and every one like a letter from a long lost friend.

The Weddings & Parties section is so inspirartional. It’s all in the detail. Fantastic, original and simple ways of transforming your party or wedding into something truly unique.

Unusual Favours
Wedding Table Decorations
Make it Personal
Let there be Light!
Party on Outside
Love Tokens
Party Accessories

Cox & Cox is an on-line store that 'embraces the heartfelt philosophy that it is possible to create a home that is both beautiful and practical, offering a fresh escape from the norm. The product range has influences from all over the globe and takes inspiration from childhood memories, but often with a contemporary twist.'

Going, going, gone! - hurry, Sale ends soon

Cox and Cox sale ends next week. They've reduced many of their great products further and added even more items to thier Summer Sale with a number of items now at an amazing 75% off! Note any existing promotional discounts are not valid during the sale.

Final Reductions - now up to 75% off!

You can order 24 hours a day on thier website, or their friendly team is available on 0844 858 0744 (weekdays from 8am to 10pm Mon-Fri and 9am to 10pm at the weekend) to take your orders and answer queries.

Happy Punching!! x

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Absolutely Flawless!

If, (like me), you’re one of the unlucky ladies who suffer skin outbreaks when stressed, then this treatment is definitely the one for you!

Last year, as part of my bridal beauty regime, I had regular Chroma Clear Microdermabrasion treatments at Origin Rejuvenation Clinic in Allerton, Liverpool, http://www.originrejuvenationclinic.co.uk/.
After the wedding, my regime slipped somewhat, so on Thursady night I decided to have some ME time and booked a Chroma Clear appointment at Origin. And ladies, it was to die for! The treatment lasts approx 45 minutes and usually cost £45. Luckily, Origin are running £29 deals available ‘all day, every day’ throughout August on select treatments (see below) including the Chroma Clear.

Chroma Clear is a non invasive microdermabrasion treatment system designed to treat face and body imperfections such as acne/blemishes, scar tissue, wrinkles and stretch marks. It is a revolutionary skin rejuvenation treatment that combines new innovative treatment techniques within one state of the art treatment system.
By propelling perfectly round microspheres onto the skin surface, (that’s the blasting tiny crystals to you and me), the Chroma Clear produces an action that exfoliates the skin tissue, leaving behind a complexion with a new found luminosity and youthful vitality.
A unique hydrating and smoothing gel mask is then applied to replenish and quench dull dehydrated skin. The use of a blue light, (which has anti- bacterial purifying, soothing and calming effect), is applied to promote a clearer and healthier complexion. Bliss!

It really is THE ultimate exfoliation facial. With instant visible results, Chroma Clear creates a flawless rejuvenated complexion. I highly recommend them!

If you’d like to ‘revive and glow’, visit

Website http://www.originrejuvenationclinic.co.uk/

Email info@originrejuvenationclinic.co.uk

Tel 0151 724 5052 Allerton Road

Tel 0151 236 6086 Castle Street

August £29.00 DEALS! Offers Available All Day Every Day

• Chroma Clear Microdermabrasion £29 (Usually £45)

• Full Body Deep Tissue Massage £29

• Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage with Mini Facial £29 (Usually £45)

• OPI Gel Nails on hands or feet Plus Matching Nail Varnish £29

• Detox Infra-red Sauna with a Deep Tissue Back, Neck & Shoulder
Massage £29 (Usually £40)

• Mini Manicure & Mini Pedicure £29

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Hitched Wedding Clothes and Customs Exhibition - Sudley House, Aigburth

Bridal Trends Through the Years

A history lesson for all you fashionistas! Think you know Vintage? You aint see nothing yet....!

23 July 2010 - 27 February 2011
Free admission

Exploring the history of marriage from 1850 to today

'Hitched, Wedding Clothes and Customs' exhibition explores the history of marriage and the customs surrounding it, from Victorian times to the present day. Whilst focusing on the changing styles in wedding dress during that time, the exhibition also looks at contemporary ceremonies such as same sex partnerships and pagan weddings.

About 20 outfits, including wedding dress from Liverpool's Jewish, Chinese and Traveller communities will be featured. The exhibition will show historic costume dating from1850, photographs, contemporary artefacts and personal histories.

Costumes on show
Here we show a selection of costumes from the exhibition.

Traditional dresses
Wedding dress, 1853
Wedding dress, 1913
Wedding dress, 1960
Community dresses and suits
Jewish wedding dress, 1935
Chinese wedding dress, 1966
Civil partnership suits, 2008
Traveller wedding dress, 2010

Opening times
Open 10am-5pm daily.

FREE ADMISSION to the gallery and all exhibitions and events.

Sudley House
Mossley Hill Road
L18 8BX

Telephone 0151 724 3245


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Quaint Ever Afters…

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, Bespoken Dreams fell in love with Vintage Twee...a company who shares our ethos of advocating 'classical romance' and inspiring the Heroine in all of us!

Joanne Linder of Vintage Twee tells her story….

“As a creative little girl, being fascinated by tea parties was not unusual. Little did I know that this passion for all things vintage inspired and tea related would lead to the creation of my company, Vintage Twee! Vintage Twee offer a range of enchantingly English hand crafted, vintage-inspired table décor for the loveliest tea party, wedding or shower. The company is owned by myself, Joanne Linder, and is inspired by my love for tea and all things vintage! It is fuelled by a desire to produce beautiful items that are not only stunning, but provide a real talking point for your guests.

Whether you are having a vintage themed wedding or party, or are just looking for something that little bit different around the home, Vintage Twee will ensure you host a beautiful and elegant entertaining experience for all your guests.

I embrace a multitude of themes, ranging from my classic and timeless vintage music inspired wedding favour boxes and guestbooks, through to the current trend for “Alice in Wonderland” tea parties. My current favourite items to create are the “Fairy Tale Favour Boxes” (above). Gorgeous and unique, each box is adorned with delicate reindeer moss, a popular fairy tale quotation as well as stunning gold tassles, gemstones and pearls; enough to inspire the Princess in all of us!

Every item that I produce has been individually hand crafted to the highest standard and you can be sure you will add a unique and extra special touch to your event. I aim to breathe new life in to vintage materials where possible, using items such as genuine vintage lace, pearls, jewels and music sheets to add authenticity to each creation. Each embellishment I source holds a story of its own, and the fact they are steeped in history just adds to their appeal.

As a small company, I offer a complete personalised service, and many items can be customised to your requirements. No request is too small!”

Website - www.vintagetwee.com

Etsy Shop - http://vintagetwee.etsy.com

Blog - http://vintagetwee.blogspot.com

Twitter - www.twitter.com/vintagetwee